The Hero of Regression – The Talentless Boy Vows to Protect His Childhood Friend, the Female Hero, This Time Around – Chapter 59

𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮?

𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮?

Rest, who parried my wooden sword with his own blade, immediately leapt backward, putting distance between us without engaging in a blade-locking struggle.

Indeed, it was a good move.

For someone like me who uses swordsmanship to read and exploit the opponent’s power, being in close proximity for a blade-locking struggle is right up my alley.

Rest, who had crossed swords with me just yesterday, knows this.

Therefore, deliberately avoiding my strong suit and calmly increasing the distance is commendable.

Although it does make me wonder how he can make such a composed decision, given that he was furiously lashing out at Blade earlier.

But now is not the time to dwell on that.

“Blade, are you okay?”

“Uh, guh. . . . . .”

He doesn’t look okay.

Blade, who got beaten up by Rest, is now lying on the ground, arms missing, in a pitiful state.

Clearly incapacitated.

If I had been even a little late in intervening, he would be dead by now.

Thanks to Doug-san.

For the moment, while keeping an eye on Rest, I take out the top-tier Recovery potion provided to the Hero’s Party from my waist bag and splash it onto Blade.

It can’t regenerate missing limbs, but it should fix minor damages.

Even so, lost blood and stamina won’t return.

Blade won’t be able to move for a while.

That means I’ll have to defend Blade while fighting against Rest and the remaining soldiers.

It won’t be easy.

“Ah, I couldn’t finish off my brother. . . . . .! To break through so many and such quality so easily. . . . . .!

It’s the same as that time. . . . . .! When I got beaten up during the departure ceremony. . . . . .!

You always show how different our levels are! You always get on my nerves!

I’m so jealous, so jealous, so jealous! I hate youuuuuu!”

In a fit of rage, driven by jealousy, Rest charges towards me, letting out a painful cry.

I respond to it in silence.

It’s not like words are unnecessary.

I just wanted to ascertain Rest’s feelings at this moment through our swords clashing before exchanging words.

Just like yesterday.

“Aaaaaah!”

Rest’s initial move is a thrust, driven by the momentum of his charge.

However, the thrust lacks weight behind it.

Probably a feint, anticipating that I’ll counter it.

Using my Flowing Blade technique against this would have little effect.

He’ll counter immediately.

“『Distortion』!”

So, the best move here is to parry.

I execute a perfect Distortion with my left-hand wooden sword, nullifying Rest’s attack without losing balance.

At the same time, I swing my right-hand wooden sword with Heaven Shaker aimed at Rest’s head.

It might not be that effective against Rest, who has divine protection and seems to be more influenced by demons than other soldiers, but it shouldn’t be completely ineffective either.

“Ha!”

Rest perfectly blocks the attack with his sword, which he pulled back quickly.

It’s logical that it’s easy to pull back since he didn’t put weight behind it.

Simultaneously, Rest leans his body back, stomps the ground hard, and takes a big leap backward, attempting to launch a slash at my torso.

It’s a pull technique.

However, he won’t catch me off guard so easily.

I saw it coming.

As soon as Rest’s sword started moving from the locked position with my right-hand wooden sword, I moved my left-hand wooden sword and disrupted his motion using Distortion.

This made Rest’s slash go astray, and his pulling technique failed.

Still, he succeeded in creating distance between us again.

“Daah!”

And then, Rest charged at me again.

If repelled, he would retreat and charge again.

A thorough hit-and-run strategy.

It’s not enough to bring me down, but it is an effective tactic.

Especially considering he’s going against me, someone who faced off one-on-one with Dragburn.

While crossing swords like this, I felt Rest’s emotions transmitted through his blade.

Rest is clearly out of his mind right now.

There’s no doubt about it.

But, after exchanging blows, I realized.

Rest may have lost his sanity, but he isn’t completely mind-controlled like the other soldiers.

At least he can speak and lash out in jealousy; some of his ego remains.

Feeling his emotions directly. . . . . .I was filled with immense rage.

Rest stopped moving.

Unable to accept this situation where no attack gets through, he began writhing, clutching his head.

“I can’t win?! I can’t win I can’t win I can’t win!

Why?! Why why why?!

I’ve gotten stronger! I’ve become much stronger than even my brother!”

“No, you’re wrong. You haven’t gotten stronger at all.”

“!”

Finally, we exchanged words instead of swords, and Rest glared at me with intense eyes.

His teeth, clenched in apparent fury, shattered, and blood tears flowed from his bloodshot eyes.

The blue blood specific to creatures of the Demon Realm, no, bluish-black blood began to soil Rest’s face.

Seeing that only made me angrier, but also incredibly sad.

“What value is there in a sword swung in emotional abandon under demon control? That’s not strength. That’s just harmful.”

“. . . . . .Die!”

Just one word.

Upon uttering this simple phrase that succinctly expressed his current state of mind, the soldiers who had been swarming Doug-san turned towards me.

It seems he’s given up on beating me one-on-one and has switched to a gang-up strategy.

Normally this would actually improve my odds, but it’s difficult while also protecting Blade.

The only silver lining is that Doug-san is holding back the most troublesome middle-aged wizard.

It’s going to be a tough fight.

But I don’t feel like losing.

Compared to when I fought Dragburn while covering for Stella, who was chanting, this is nothing!

“””Raaaaah!”””

“Hah!”

I deflected the magic launched by the leading soldiers using Calamity Return, hitting a few soldiers’ feet and tripping them.

Of course, this is just a drop in the bucket.

The soldiers trample over their fallen comrades and charge, the new front-liners brandishing their weapons.

I dodge them, parry and change their course, aiming to reduce their numbers through friendly fire.

But the biggest difference between then and now is that Rest has joined this group.

“Die!”

Using the soldiers’ attacks as a distraction, Rest launched his real attack.

Using one of the soldiers swinging his sword at me as a stepping stone, he leaped and came at me from above.

I deflected it using Distortion, and used Rest’s sword to cut the soldiers’ legs.

But even now, Rest seemed intent on sticking to his hit-and-run strategy, taking distance by using the soldiers as a wall before I could counterattack.

“Die!”

Several soldiers’ blades were aimed at Blade lying at my feet.

At the same time, Rest charged in.

He’s planning to take advantage of the moment I protect Blade.

How underhanded.

I deflected Rest’s sword attack with a Distortion created by my right wooden sword and redirected the trajectory of the blade towards Rest’s back with a distortion from his left wooden sword.

Adding to Rest’s swing-and-miss, I used the accelerating force of my Storm Leg Armor to sweep Rest off his feet.

As a result, Rest’s body, propelled by his own momentum, collided with the soldiers who had been trying to attack Blade.

The attack on Blade was interrupted, and some of the soldiers’ weapons ended up impaling Rest.

Although the wounds quickly healed thanks to Rest’s regenerative ability, both he and the soldiers ended up on the ground.

“Ugh. . . . . .Die!”

Yet, Rest’s murderous intent didn’t wane as he charged at me again.

“Die!”

A flying slash attack from a distance.

I countered it with Calamity Return, spinning my body around as I did.

During the spin, I sliced through the legs of the surrounding soldiers and redirected the attack back at Rest.

“Ugh?!”

Rest’s arm was severed by the rebounded attack.

However, seemingly granted an extraordinary amount of demonic power, his arm regenerated instantly.

Gripping his sword with the newly regenerated arm, Rest charged again.

“Die, die, die! Just die!”

“Enough already!”

“Wha?!”

It was not me, but Doug-san who had arrived and delivered a furious blow to the rampaging Rest.

Upon closer inspection, the middle-aged wizard lay collapsed and utterly exhausted.

Fortunately, it seems that he was able to render him powerless when I was ejected, despite the considerable distance that had been closed.

However, Doug-san also bears his fair share of injuries.

Nevertheless, Doug-san raised his voice, unfazed by his own injuries.

“Rest! Do you call yourself a divine protection holder? A descendant of the great Valkyrias?

As a fellow holder of Sword Divine Protection, I despise what you’ve become!”

Doug-san’s words were met with a murderous glare from Rest.

Yet, even when faced with Rest, who had attained a far superior power, Doug-san stood unwavering.

“We were born bestowed with powers from the gods!

Those powers were given to protect humanity from demons! To protect those without power!

To use that power for personal grudges, to side with demons and bare fangs against humans—know shame!”

Doug-san’s words are a story about the mindset taught to those who possess divine protection.

The power of divine protection is a power bestowed by the gods to protect humanity.

Therefore, it is a power granted by the gods for that purpose.

Hence, it should never be used for personal gain or selfish desires, but rather wielded to protect others.

The stronger one’s power, the more strongly this principle is emphasized.

“I understand the feeling of jealousy towards those more gifted!

I too have Holy Warriors among my colleagues and have felt envious!

But they fulfill their responsibilities with their power!

They slay far more demons and monsters, save far more people, and fight under far greater pressure than we do, all as humanity’s hope!

Jealousy towards them is not a good enough reason to abandon your duties and side with demons!”

Hearing this grand declaration, it was clear.

Doug-san faithfully upheld the responsibilities and ethics of someone endowed with divine protection.

Amid those who drown in the talent of divine protection like the Beast King, Doug-san uncompromisingly adheres to his beliefs.

Thinking about it, perhaps his initial aggression towards me was also a manifestation of his pride and responsibility as a divine protection holder.

I gained newfound respect for Doug-san.

“As someone who shares the same 『Divine Protection of the Sword』, I cannot overlook any more of these atrocities!

『Sword Hero』 Doug・Byte, at your service!”

“Shut up!”

“Wha-ou?!”

Ah, Doug-san got taken down?!

His full-force sword slash was easily deflected, and in that opening, he was kicked in the groin!

With the force of the kick, Doug-san flies toward me.

I use Distortion to change Doug-san’s trajectory and soften his landing as much as possible.

Doug-san, now on the ground, is clutching his groin and twitching in pain.

It’s a sight I’ve seen once or twice before.

“What do you, who possess only a simple divine protection, know?!

I am of the Valkyrias lineage! I am the grandson of 『Sword Saint』 Ruberto, and the younger brother of 『Sword Saint』 Blade!

I am far more comparable to a Holy Warrior than those with just ordinary divine protections!

And yet, you disappoint me arbitrarily and look down on me arbitrarily!

You, who don’t even understand my pain, have no right to talk!”

With that, Rest spat out his words.

He’s huffing and puffing, clearly conveying the depth of his anger.

However, even if Doug-san was defeated in an instant, his contributions weren’t in vain.

Both psychologically and strategically.

“Doug-san, I entrust Blade to you.”

Doug-san, who was blown away by the kick, lands next to me.

That is to say, next to Blade, whom I had been protecting.

Even though he was struck in the groin, it’s his third time; he should be able to get up with some determination.

Many of the soldiers also fell during the previous skirmish.

Even an injured Doug-san should be able to protect both himself and Blade.

Finally, I can move forward.

“Rest.”

Upon my call, eyes filled with murderous intent meet mine.

Yet, he doesn’t immediately attack.

It’s only natural to hesitate to charge alone, especially after failing to win even when fighting alongside the soldiers.

. . . . . . However, that’s only if he still possesses rational thought.

Right now, Rest has lost his sanity and is fighting purely on raw emotion.

And yet, he makes strangely calm moves here and there.

Whether it was the initial evasion or instructing the soldiers to target Blade.

And now, Rest is holding still as if trying to suppress his boiling emotions.

It’s weird since he should be completely governed by his feelings.

That’s why I ask with conviction.

“━━Who are you?”

Upon hearing my question, it felt as if the dark blue blood oozing from Rest’s body began to writhe.


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